Lakhs of workers of ordnance factories observe nationwide protest against Centre’s corporatization move
They also protested against ‘Essential Defence Services Ordinance’, aimed at preventing ordnance factories workers from protesting or calling for a strike in ordnance factories
Lakhs of workers associated with different unions observed nationwide protests on Friday against the Centre’s bid to corporatize 41 ordnance factories which, they said, was aimed at eventually privatizing them.
Also opposing 100 percent FDI in the defence sector, the workers demanded withdrawal of “Essential Defence Services Ordinance”. The controversial ordinance, which was promulgated in the middle of the pandemic, is aimed at preventing ordnance factories workers from protesting or calling for a strike in ordnance factories.
The Central Trade Unions (CTU) , an umbrella body of various workers unions, said, “All these measures are going to severely weaken the indigenous production network of all basic requirements of the defence forces, much to the detriment of national interests”.
“The Ordinance bans the right to strike in the defence production sector. It has various draconian penal provisions extending even beyond strike, to all kinds of collective democratic protests. It empowers the government to extend those brutal autocratic measures to other sectors as well,” added the workers union.
Saying that their fight will continue until the government withdraws the draconian Ordinance, the unions decided to observe August 9 as ‘Save India Day’.
NH has reported earlier that the Modi government has planned to divide and dissolve 41 companies into seven state run corporations.
Although the Modi government has said corporations will be run by the government only, union leaders have disputed the same.
Talking to NH, AITUC general secretary Amarjeet Kaur said, “Despite restrictions workers came out in large number…beyond our expectation. Their determination to fight against privatization of national assets is rising day by day. And the battle against corporatization of ordnance factories is going to be harsher in the coming time.”
Currently, there are eight public sector companies working in the defence sector. The number will go up to 15 after the formulation of seven corporations.